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Sylvia Plath

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Mushroom birth
Added by: Rachel
This poem is about a baby being born and living a womans body. First when i read this poem when i was in 7th grade i thought it is about mushrooms taking over the world. I also had a test on this in which i screwed up really badly thinking its about mushrooms.
Added by: emmy
many people have their own views on the poem by palth...i believe she wrote the poem in honour of her children who she ultimately left behind...

children are generaly left behind as it is...ignored and understated as well as 'meek' and were it says 'our kind multiplies' she is trying to show us that they are increasig and becoming the majority, however small they be.

'our foots in the door' plaths way of saying that children are ready to 'inherit the earth' and will soon dominate the older generation....and yet they are ignored 'earless and eyeless'

overall the poem is amasing just because it can be interpreted in so many ways....
Feministic Mushrooms
Added by: Mike
I personally believe this poem to be a reflection of oppressed and exploited women slowing paving their way up through society; in other words this is one of her feministic poems.

Perhaps she is trying to present hope for women in American society, and how they are persistent in making what seems to be an 'invasion' of sorts.

Many other qualities of women are exhibited through describing the mushrooms, and they seem to be given a sense of forcefulness ('acquire the air' suggests force and possessiveness and 'we are edible' suggests exploitation').

Plath ends the poem quite spectacularly as she draws a Biblical allusion to the Beautitudes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Remember that she (or the mushrooms) says 'We are meek', and 'We shall by morning / Inherit the earth', and the Bible says the 'the meek shall inhereit the earth'. Perhaps she sees as this as some sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
not aliens, just women
Added by: Ben Wiebracht
Sorry to all you science fiction fans, but Plath was not noted for her extraterrestrial paranoia. The poem is indeed about feminism. "We are shelves, we are tables, we are meek, we are edible": these images are clear references to domesticity. According to Plath, the power of the feminist movement lies not in the determination and resiliency of it’s members, but in the collective progressive nature of the entire sex. Women are often considered the softer, gentler sex, and Plath does not depart from this stereotype. No species is feebler in the singular than the mushroom. Anyone who has trod on one can testify to its extreme fragility; before cooking, the stalk will tear not with a rip or a snap, but with the same supple silence as wet paper. Yet in almost any ecosystem, mushrooms will prevail long after the last tree has fallen. Feminism will succeed, says Plath, because of the sum of a billion minor strivings, the revolution of innumerable timorous usurpations by means of which the female gender will quietly and unobtrusively “inherit the earth.”
Added by: Bobo Jenkins
when i first read this poem, my first thoughts were that it was about growing mushrooms, as in the hallucinogenic "shrooms". if you go stanza by stanza: the first 3 stanzas imply sneaking around at a farm looking for cow shit, because that's what shrooms grow from. in the fourth stanza where it says "soft fists insist on heaving the needles, the leafy bedding," that's talking about moving hay in order to find the cow pies. in the 5th stanza it says "earless and eyeless," still implying that they can't be seen or heard. again in the 6th they imply that by saying "perfectly voiceless". they diet on water because it might be all they have or because when you do shrooms you also get stoned which makes you thirsty. and i find that the rest of the poem is her trip on shrooms, a trip where you discover the answers to the universe. however, after reading a lot of other ideas as to what the poem is about, they all make sense. it's all about personal interpretation and how deep you read into the poem. for all we know, it could be about shrooms, feminists, i don't know, but it's good.
The little ones/"Mushrooms"
Added by: martha
Plath's Mushroom poem is about 5th graders! My daughter's 5th grade botany lessons last month included memorizing this poem, presenting it for a school event, complete with movement and gestures, while reciting the lines in groups of two and three including the whole class. A lovely form/forum for this mysterious poem. So mysterious, in fact, that it is also about war, pregnancy, depression, the downtrodden and, to this I would add, fifth graders poking up their heads and bursting into the world around them. The true test of a powerful poem: is it big enough to hold a multitude of truths? Yes! to Mushrooms.
Added by: M@jö
Such a crazy poem ! If mushrooms thought like that,we all should fear them ! :)

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